Friday, March 28, 2014

Can you really eat more to weigh less?

Why do some people eat their hearts out, workout minimally (2x per week), and still look and feel great? It’s because they know how to “fuel” their bodies with the right foods. Allow me to explain:

One McDonald's Big Mac contains 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, and more than 40 grams of highly-processed, blood-sugar-spiking carbohydrates, no real nutrients and poor quality protein. And that doesn't even count the fries and soft drink that you might be ordering with it. (Though it's not "a lot" of food, it’s food filled with calories — empty calories to boot!)

At the same rate, here are a few alternative food choices and amounts that will land you at the same 540 calories. And they provide your body with the nutrients and fat-burning effects to help you stay active, healthy and lean.

Go ahead and eat ALL of this in one sitting (most people wouldn't even be able to finish it):

4 oz of grilled chicken (120 cals)
3 cups of broccoli (90 cals)
1 medium banana (100 cals)
8 oz of plain Greek yogurt (130 cals)
10 medium strawberries (40 cals)
1/2 cup of blueberries (40 cals)

If you take a closer look, it still contains fewer calories than ONE Big Mac and it's WAY healthier. Simply put, you don't have to starve yourself (at all) to lose weight and shed those stubborn just need to learn how to choose the right foods, and then eat your heart out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How can I stop this stressful, anxious feeling?

Question for Penny: Not sure how to explain this, but I’ve been fighting with this stressful, anxious feeling that seems to come and go. Some of it is work, some family, and some personal stuff. It all adds up and I feel like I'm drowning with swirling thoughts and emotions. How do I stop this struggle inside me?

Answer: I understand this “fight” you’re describing. We’ve all been there and we all still go there from time to time. Some of us just stay there too long not knowing how to snap out of it. I call this internal struggle the “storm within.” I compare it to a storm because a storm can come, but the good news is, it doesn't stay forever. It will always end at some point. So this, too, (your storm within), will eventually pass. 

First, understand this: In order to stop the struggle, you must first choose to stop fighting. Just stop fighting your feelings because what you resist will persist. You can’t avoid having a storm within. It is part of life. And it is what creates “balance” and keeps things “whole.” Let me explain.

Everything that goes up eventually comes down, just as sure as the sun will rise and set. With that, one could also say we understand what “light" is once we learn of “darkness." If it wasn’t for darkness we can't truly appreciate light. So you see? Everything is WHOLE when it has its counterpart. It is all quite enlightening once you grasp the depth of the concept.

In the meantime, know that this “storm within” can help you grow… you WILL find a way to weather the storm (as you’ve always had or you wouldn’t be here). Life doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it does get better. It gets better because you’ve gotten better. And you can only get better when you’re challenged

So stop fighting to end this storm. Fighting this storm within is like fighting against the powerful force of nature. You won’t win. You can’t win. Instead, recognize this storm as it "passes through you" and know that like all storms, it might or might not stay for long, but regardless, it will eventually end.

As you open the door to this awareness, feelings of fear or insecurity may seem more intense. Instead of fighting or resisting uncomfortable feelings, simply just “be” with those feelings. Notice them forming and watch them in a nonjudgmental way. Be an observer, not a victim

Remember: When you try to push away a feeling, it only grows stronger, but when you simply notice and allow it to be, it will soon dissipate. In the beautiful words of Harvard neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, "Just like children, emotions heal when they are heard and validated." 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Top 3 tips when sculpting and reshaping your body composition

1.) The “building”, "sculpting" and "toning" you want to achieve cannot be done with cute little dumbbells, no matter the repetitions. If you want real results, slowly progress to lifting heavier weights that digs deep, and makes you uncomfortable — even make you grunt a few times! (yes, talking to you, ladies!)

2.) Don't sabotage your workouts. Chilling out between weight sets is one of the most common mistakes. To increase strength, you need to do your second and third sets of reps with slightly fatigued muscles. Instead of taking a break, take a brief "pause" that lasts for just 15 - 30 seconds. Any more than that and you'll lose the benefit you gained from the previous set. 

3.) Ok, if getting to the gym is tough today, just tell yourself you'll go and make it a light, easy workout (and mean it!). No pressure. Once you get there and start moving, chances are you'll naturally do more than you anticipated and you'll leave feeling great!

Friday, March 7, 2014

12-Minute Plyometric Power Workout

Add power to your workout! If you want to build strength throughout your entire body while burning major calories, I highly recommend plyometrics. 

Plyometrics (or plyos) are explosive exercises that use jump training—jump squats, jump lunges, and the like. They strengthen your muscles by working them to their maximum potential in a short window. 

With consistent practice, you’ll find yourself more powerful: jump higher, run faster, move quicker, do better! Not to mention, your body will take on a leaner and meaner shape. ;)

Here are 4 plyo moves you can try at 90 seconds per move, repeating 2 rounds for a quick and effective workout in just 12 minutes! (Beginners and intermediate, try 30-60 seconds per move to start.)

1. Sumo Jump Squats
2. Lateral Jump Squat Cross Reach 
3. Plyo Pushups
4. Alternating Lunge Jumps (or Split Jump)

Get ready to fire up those legs!